While Arkansas developed a reputation for a strong rushing attack behind names like McFadden, Jones, Hillis, Cobbs, and Talley during the Nutt years, the Razorback offense re-emphasized the passing game after Bobby Petrino was hired in late 2007. The result was some of the most exciting passing offenses in Razorback history, which led to something of an identity crisis for Razorback fans who were used to watching DMac and Felix run all over everyone. The forward pass suddenly became "cool" again, and unsurprisingly, most of our All-BCS Era selections come from the Petrino era.
---- Jarius Wright: Part of what proved to be a stellar 2008 recruiting class, Wright (along with Joe Adams and Greg Childs) was part of a freshman class that allowed Petrino to implement his offense immediately and win sooner, rather than later. In his 4 seasons in Fayetteville (2008-2011), Wright accumulated 2,934 receiving yards on 168 catches, with 24 TDs. He currently holds Arkansas records for career receiving yards and most TD receptions in a season (12 in 2011). In 2011, he set the Arkansas record (at the time... it would be broken again less than a year later) for most receiving yards in a game, with 281 in a 42-38 victory over Texas A&M.
As Doc mentioned in a recent post, Wright is looking like he might have the best pro career of a Razorback wideout in the BCS era. You can see Wright's NFL highlights in Doc's post and his college highlight below:
And, of course, no post about Jarius would be complete without a video of this amazing circus catch against Tennessee in 2011. Kid's got hands, no doubt about it.
---- Cobi Hamilton: Signed in 2009, Hamilton spent most of his Razorback career overshadowed by the "Big Three" (Wright, Adams, and Childs), but emerged his senior season as Tyler Wilson's primary (and sometimes only) target. As a result, Cobi ended up finishing his career holding a boatload of Razorback records, including most receiving yards in a season (1,334 in 2012), career receptions (175), most receptions in a season (90 in 2012), and most receiving yards in a game (303 vs. Rutgers in 2012). Hamilton also ran track for the Razorbacks, competing in the 60, 100, and 200m.
Although 2012 was Cobi's record-setting year, he'll probably be best remembered for his big performance in the Rutgers game and for showing out against LSU in the Rock in 2011.
---- Anthony Lucas: Playing from 1995-1999, Lucas is the only WR selection who didn't play for Petrino, but his career stats speak volumes. During his career, Lucas amassed 2,879 receiving yards on 137 catches (that's 21(!) yds/rec) and 23 TDs. Those yardage and TD totals were Razorback career records until Jarius Wright and Marcus Monk broke them years later. Lucas still holds the Arkansas record for most 100-yard receiving games, with 11. His best season, by far, was 1998, when he became Clint Stoerner's main target to the tune of 1,004 receiving yards and 10 TDs, both of which were schools records at the time.
Lucas also starred in a little game against Tennessee in 1999, catching the go-ahead TD in the 4th quarter in the 28-24 upset of the Vols.
---- D.J. Williams: A fan-favorite who overcame incredible adversity in life (the E:60 spot on DJ's story is worth a watch, too), Williams compiled 1831 yards and 10 TDs in his career at Arkansas. In 2008, he was a semifinalist for the Mackey Award, annually awarded to the best TE - the first in school history. In 2010, he won both the Mackey Award and the Disney Spirit Award as "college football's most inspiration player."
Oh, and he's got some skills on the keyboard, too.
And the snare drum.
We should note that there are another couple of guys who would possibly be on this list if not for injuries, Marcus Monk and Greg Childs. Monk became a go-to receiver in 2005 & 2006, providing a legit receiving threat to provide some semblance of balance in an offense so focused on rushing, but he hurt is knee during fall camp in 2007 and was never the same. Childs was probably the best receiver on a 2010 team filled with great receivers until he hurt his knee against Vanderbilt. He returned in 2011 but wasn't the same player. He was drafted by the Vikings but suffered another injury before his rookie season but is still working toward an NFL career.
We'd also be remiss not to mention Joe Adams as part of that 2008 recruiting class at receiver with Childs and Wright, but he'd become more known for something else we'll get to later.